POWER-PAC IL Parents are Unstoppable

Before hunkering down for the holidays, we bring you a glimpse of what’s been keeping parent leaders busy this fall:

COFI leaders serving as national women’s economic security fellows Donna Carpenter, Rosazlia Grillier, Lettie Hicks, Michelle Morton, and Liliana Olayo gathered in East St. Louis recently. The Fab Five, as they are affectionately called, attended the Parents United For Change branch meeting (pictured above), visited local solar panel sites, participated in video and photo shoots for an upcoming project to launch soon (stay tuned)… and even ascended the Gateway Arch in St. Louis!

A woman and man, sitting at a table, present during a meeting. Below the image is a quote by Dexter Leggin: In neighborhoods where children see police on every corner, they shouldn't be the first faces students see at school, as well.

Dexter Leggin, Elementary Justice Campaign Co-Chair of POWER-PAC IL, is featured in Parents Magazine this month (pictured here with POWER-PAC IL Co-Chair Emeritus Lynn Morton). The story explores parent-led initiatives that intervene with the school-to-prison pipeline that disproportionately affects youth of color. Dexter talks about the Elementary Justice Campaign’s mission and the positive impact of parents bringing restorative justice practices to schools. Great job, Dexter!

A group of about 15 volunteers, clad in matching teal shirts, pose in front of a playground they are building. Some have their arms flexed to signify strength.
We were devastated to hear about the Nixon Elementary School playground fire earlier this month, but heartened by parents’ perseverance and hope. The COFI parent team, Padres Activos de la Escuela Nixon, fought for nearly three long years and won Chicago Public School and others’ support for this playground. They raised the money and literally built the playground themselves in 2018 – engaging 200 community volunteers (pictured above). Parent persistence will not let this dream die. Now CPS and Alderman Carlos Ramirez-Rosa have committed to rebuild the playground by spring. Go, Nixon parents!

In case you missed it: Chicago approved a guaranteed basic income program late last month, which will distribute $500 monthly cash payments to 5,000 families! POWER-PAC IL leaders Donna Carpenter and Rosazlia Grillier, along with other community advocates, showed their support at two press events (pictured above).

A large group of people at Federal Plaza in Chicago showing their support for Build Back Better legislation
While the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal was signed into law this month, parents continue to call on Congress to pass Build Back Better and fund the care economy. Parents turned out in force in Downtown Chicago last week, alongside U.S. Representatives Robin Kelly and Marie Newman, SEIU Healthcare IL & IN, and other community partners to voice support for this law. It would be a game-changer for child care and early learning, bringing an additional $3.3 billion to Illinois over three years. The funding will expand access to child care, make preschool universal, increase the affordability of child care more for families with young children, and increase compensation for child care workers.